Friday, February 25, 2011

Horses: In riding a horse, we borrow freedom....

Since this started with a horse experience it seems fitting that I had better explain why in the world after all of this I still want to ride and how and where it all started.   I guess it is in your blood or DNA?   Not sure, but it is in mine. 

As a child I dreamed of having a horse one day.  It usually starts small, a pony and then we build.  I was a city girl with little opportunity or access to being able to have a horse of my own.  But, you can always dream and pray and more nights than not I asked God, "Please bring me a Pony."  What in the world would my parents have done if they found a Pony grazing away in our back yard?  I could only hope.

My access to horses was intermittent, but memorable growing up.  My cousin, "P" had first one horse and then two when her Quarter Horse Mare had a foal.  I was so excited to see the baby, he was a bonus as they did not know the mare was pregnant when they got her.  When ever we would go to visit I got to ride.  At first I would ride double behind my cousin and then as I got older she would let me ride on my own.  It seemed like I had to wait forever for the other kids - my siblings, to get their rides done and then it was my turn.

That Mare was what we would call a "Packer" she was patient, kind, and put up with my lack of riding skills.  I would walk and trot her all over their field and some times we would even lope.  She was a little barn sour so I knew I should keep her away from the barn or she would run into her stall and I had better duck or off I would go.   You get to anticipate these things with horses and I never did fall off of her.  Riding that horse set in place my continued desire to have a horse of my own.  I was 9 or 10 years old. 

Fast forward 20 plus years.  I finally find myself in a situation where I can begin to make the horse dream happen.  I save up enough money to buy the horse, tack, and a trailer.  For years I have been attending horse shows, reading and dreaming about this day when I get my first horse.  I am 32 and finally I get to make it happen.  I start looking and know that I want to start with a great trail horse.  I have ridden my neighbors horse on the trail and he is part Appaloosa and I think that makes sense for a first horse.  I try out a few horses and only one stands out, but he is not an Appaloosa, he is an Arab. 

I know enough about horses as this point that I am really not sure I want an Arab, they are typically more "hot" than not and I am such a novice that I don't want to get off to a bad start.  I decide to meet him after talking to his owner.  She assures me that "Wizard" has been there and done that.  She tells me how she rode him across county in an organized trail ride to reenact the wagon train coming west, how he literally jumped a fire line when she was out trail riding and got stuck where she should not have been, and that he is calm and has been around the block.  So, I go give him a try.

My first impression is - OMG, he is White!  I later find out that in the Arab color world his color is really considered "Gray."  What ever his color is called it looks white to me and I know that I never envisioned owning a white horse.  I saw myself on something more brown - a bay (dark brown) or Sorrel (red/brown), but a white horse??   I take him for a test ride in their rock littered arena.  He is a good boy and walks, trots and lopes for me.  His trot is like a jack hammer, and I bounce around in the saddle which is way too big for me.  The owner tells me I should post his trot.  What the heck does that mean?  Boy, I was a green rider. 

I take him out in the neighborhood around their house with her daughter riding with me on her horse.  Cars, kids on electric trucks, sprinklers, none of it bothers him.  He just takes it all in stride....  The daughters horse is much more jumpy and ill at ease.  I head back to their house and know

I have found my "Dream Horse."  And so the journey begins....(To be continued)

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